Want to use Chrome OS on your Windows PC or Mac? This guide will teach you how to download and install it.
Chrome operating system is one of the most light-weighted OS available, which was previously only reserved for Chromebook devices. However, the Chromium OS (the open-source version of Chrome OS) can be installed and used on Windows, Mac, and Linux devices as well.
The open-source version of Chrome OS is also compatible with older Windows versions such as Windows 7 and Windows 8. It is an amazing operating system that does not require much time and disk space to install. However, you should not expect much from this OS as it is primarily designed for basic computer operations and browsing the internet. You can’t expect the powerful functionalities of Windows and macOS in Chrome OS.
The best part about Chrome OS is that it can be installed on a USB drive and can be used portable. That is, you don’t need to install it on your system separately. Install it in an empty Pendrive and just plug & play.
In this post, I will guide you through all the steps in detail to download and install the Chrome OS and use it on any of your computers.
Table of Contents
Install Chrome OS without Google services
There are two ways to install and use Chrome OS on your Windows or Mac devices. The first way is pretty straightforward and does not have any major pre-requirements. However, if you install Chrome OS using this method, you won’t be able to use Google services like Google Play Store and others. So, if your primary purpose of installing the Chrome OS is to use the Google services, you should not follow this method.
In this method, I will create a portable version of Chromium OS using Neverware.
Prerequisites to install Chrome OS using Neverware
- An empty USB Pendrive or Hard Disk with at least 8GB space.
- Proper Internet Connection.
- Disable Secure Boot (on Windows 10 and Windows 11).
Install Chrome OS through Neverware
Here are the steps to install Chrome OS through Neverware
On your Windows or Mac device, navigate to the Neverware website.
Scroll down and under Build your CloudReady Installer, click on the Download USB Maker button. It is around 48MB in size.
After the download is complete, launch it to begin the installation.
The welcome screen says that you will require an 8GB or 16GB USB drive. However, you can even use a 128 GB Pendrive. Click Next.
Now insert your USB drive. Although it is mentioned that Sandisk devices are not recommended, you can still use them. Click Next.
Select your USB drive and click Next.
The installer image will start downloading. Remember not to remove your USB drive during the whole process.
After the image is downloaded, the program will extract the compressed image.
After the extraction, the CloudReady USB Installer will take up to 20 minutes to create.
Click on Finish and remove your USB drive after the process is finished.
Run Chrome OS on Windows and Mac
Now you can use the CloudReady USB Stick to use the Chrome OS on any of your devices. To use it on a Windows laptop or PC, follow these steps:
- Insert the CloudReady USB stick and restart your system.
- Repeatedly press the ESC button to open the boot sequence. Choose the USB drive to boot.
- The Chromium OS will be loaded through the Pendrive.
- Login with your Gmail address.
- If you have any other Chrome devices, you can sync them with this.
- Click on Get Started.
- Now you can access the Chrome OS without installing it on your device.
This is the straightforward way to use Chromium OS on your Windows or Mac devices. However, remember that you won’t be able to use the Google services as of now.
Install Chrome OS including Google Play Store
As the Chrome OS supports the Google services, many Windows users want to install and use it just to install Android applications through Google Play Store. If you install the Chromium OS through Neverware, you won’t be able to access any Google services. This is where this method comes into play.
In this method, I will create a portable Chrome OS using its image available on the web.
Prerequisites for creating a Portable Chrome OS
- A working Windows or Mac device with a USB port.
- An empty USB drive of at least 8GB space.
- 7Zip or any other extractor to extract the ‘.7z’ file.
- belenaEtcher or Rubus for creating Bootable device using img file.
Steps to Install Chrome OS on a USB Drive
- On your Windows or Mac device, download the latest Chromium OS image. Since Google does not provide any official platform to get that, you have to download it from secure third-party sources like Arnold The Bat.
- After the Chrome OS image is downloaded, extract the ‘.7z’ file with an extractor. I am using 7Zip for that.
- Now, insert the USB drive into the USB port and format it as the FAT32 file system.
- In this step, you require to install the Chrome OS image on the USB drive. For that, I am using belenaEtcher.
- Launch belenaEtcher and click on the Flash from file button. Choose the Chromium OS image that you have extracted.
- Next, click on the Select target button and choose your USB drive.
- Finally, click on the Flash button to begin installing the Chromium OS image on the USB drive.
- The flashing would begin and take some time to complete.
- You can safely remove the USB flash drive after the flashing is complete.
Steps to Run Chrome OS on Windows
- After installing the Chrome OS on the USB drive, insert it on the device on which you want to run Chrome OS.
- Restart the device and enter the boot menu. On Windows, the boot menu is accessed by ESC, F5, F8, or F12.
- After entering the Boot menu, change the boot order and USB drive as the first priority for booting.
- Choose the USB drive for booting and launch Chrome OS.
These are the two ways through which you can enjoy Chrome OS on your Windows or Mac devices. Both methods are pretty straightforward to install, and you can choose to install any of them based on your requirements.
If you are using Windows 11 want to install Chrome OS just for using the Android apps, you don’t have to do that as Windows 11 now supports Android app installation.
You can use Chrome OS on Mac without actually installing it. Follow the procedure in this post to install Chromium OS on a USB drive and use it on Mac, Windows, or other devices.
Though Chrome OS is pretty light weighted and fast, you cannot replace any Windows OS with it. It does not come with functionalities of Windows OS and is just for basic functions.